It’s been a bit over a year since my boyfriend and I shacked up in our little one-bedroom apartment, and it seems like I can’t go a week without stumbling across another article about the fears, realities, pros, and cons of living with your significant other. I’m not surprised it’s such a hot topic; there are few things more frightening and exciting than sharing your everyday life with another flawed human being who likely has gross bathroom habits. So I’m sharing a few practices I feel are important to maintain after you take the leap.
1. Go to bed together.
I absolutely love the feeling of crawling into bed together after wrapping up our work, cleaning, or other evening errands. Falling asleep together is something to cherish, and I can’t think of many things better than drifting off in the arms of the person I love. Unfortunately, work and school schedules often conflict and other commitments get in the way. But I urge every couple to take advantage of this whenever possible. I firmly believe it brings you a little closer. Plus, it often leads to before-bed sex. Speaking of which…
2. Have a lot of sex.
It astounds me how many of my girlfriends lament about the decline in their sex lives after moving in with their boyfriends. Yes, you’re tired. Yes, you’re very busy with work or whatever else you’re doing. Have sex anyway. Get each other in the mood even if you’re not feeling particularly horny. Engage in lots of great foreplay and have sex on your floor, your couch, your bathroom counter. You have all this extra time and space to do the deed! Take advantage of it. You probably won’t be humping each other like rabbits in the backseat of his car behind the high-school football stadium anymore, but you should still be having lots of great sex.
3. Go on real dates.
My boyfriend and I are the poster children for evenings spent curled up on the couch polishing off a bottle of wine and binge-watching Netflix, but we try to mix it up. Once you live together, those simple nights in are no longer a novelty. Make a dinner reservation at a fancy restaurant. Go for a Sunday-morning hike. Go camping for the weekend. Make a list of fun things to do in your city and promise to do them all. Don’t let the adventure fade from your relationship.
It’s stupidly easy to get sucked into the comforts of a life together and feel overwhelmed by little responsibilities you never had in the past. Physical fitness and health are a huge part of my identity, and when I noticed myself slowly slacking in favor of snuggling on the couch and sharing a bowl of ice cream, I gave myself a swift kick in the butt. If you were an avid gym-goer, runner, swimmer, or frequently engaged in any form of physical activity before moving in together, keep it up afterwards and invite your partner along with you.
5. Ignore the small stuff.
Yeah, I know. Easier said than done. Sometimes it seems to take a world of effort to breathe deeply and remain silent when I come across yet another dirty pair of boxers on the floor. But some things are simply not worth the fight; pick your battles wisely and look at the bigger picture. You have flaws and so does your partner. You cannot spend the rest of your lives nitpicking at each other for your annoying habits, so the sooner you accept your partner for who they are, the better.